In October 1998, the Seeds of Hope project contributed to the production of 2,000 copies of the “Mitch Atlas”, containing fundamental maps on population, land use, roads, rivers, topography, and soils. The Atlas was freely distributed to institutions for post-Hurricane Mitch emergency response and reconstruction. Two years later, the Seeds of Hope project conducted an impact assessment of the Atlas in order to gauge the role of geographic information on decision-making. The results of this impact assessment are presented in this report. The methods used to assess the impact of the Atlas combined case study analysis and descriptive statistics. We interviewed 20 Atlas users and received 43 completed questionnaires. Based on user responses, the Atlas of Honduras made a significant contribution to disaster response, agricultural development, and natural resource management in Honduras. Overall, 97.7% of the respondents said they thought the Atlas was a useful tool, and 84.8% thought the Atlas was the best compilation of geographic information available in Honduras. Seventy four percent of the respondents found the Atlas easy to use, and 90.5% used the Atlas interface itself, rather than copying the data to be used with their own GIS software. This indicates that the interface itself was well designed. The Atlas was used for a range of applications, from basic mapping to more strategic planning, predominantly within the agricultural and natural resources management sectors. Nearly all those who participated in this evaluation indicated that the Atlas improved the quality and efficiency of decision-making. However, a number of Atlas users mentioned that the Atlas was one of a range of tools and information sources, so they were reluctant to assert that the Atlas had a direct impact on their decision-making. The Atlas was instrumental in raising awareness of the value of geographic information and need to share information. With the Atlas now 2 years old, 100% of the users sampled expressed an interest in having an updated version produced, and 92.7% said they would be willing to contribute to it. 88.1% of the sampled users said they expect to use geographic information frequently in the next five years, indicating that geographic information will have a prominent role in the future.
|Publisher||Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT)|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|